by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

DTM Brands Hatch 2013: Preview

The DTM travels to England for the second race of the year, just a fortnight after the Hockenheim season-opener. Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) will be contesting his home fixture at Brands Hatch that he won last year.

The circuit: The historic British Brands Hatch circuit will host the DTM next weekend for the eighth time. Racing will take place on the Indy Circuit, which at 1.929km is currently the shortest track on the DTM calendar and features four right-hand and two left-hand turns. At the fastest point on the start/finish straight, DTM cars reach a top speed of over 225km/h. The Brands Hatch DTM race is run over 98 laps, the highest lap total of any race this season.

Celebrity guests at Mercedes-Benz: The two British Formula 1 drivers Paul Di Resta (Sahara Force India Mercedes, winner of DTM races at Brands Hatch in 2009 and 2010 and DTM champion with Mercedes-Benz in 2010), and Jenson Button (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, Formula 1 World Champion 2009 – powered by Mercedes-Benz) will guest in turn with the Mercedes AMG DTM team on the Saturday (Di Resta) and Sunday (Button) at Brands Hatch. Paul and Jenson will take passengers around the track in the DTM racing taxi and sign autographs for fans.

Comments about the DTM race at Brands Hatch

Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C‑Coupé):

- was on podium for first time in the DTM at Hockenheim season-opener 
- achieved a podium in the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands Hatch

“Brands Hatch is a great track that I really like. The first turn is, to my mind, one of the Indy Circuit’s special challenges. A lap at Brands Hatch is extremely short, so the slightest mistake is punished immediately. This is especially true in qualifying, and last season, only 0.081 seconds separated the top five drivers in Q3. Me and Martin Tomczyk in fourth and fifth place posted the same time – 41.101 seconds. I achieved my lap time first and consequently progressed further in the quali to secure second place, my best position on the grid in the DTM. After a good start to the season with my maiden DTM podium at Hockenheim, I’m feeling twice as confident in the run-up to Brands Hatch.”

Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C‑Coupé):

- won his home race at Brands Hatch last year 
- 2013 marks his tenth season in the DTM

“My home win last year at Brands Hatch was one of the most wonderful victories in my DTM career. Winning the race in front of the home fans and many of my friends was a fantastic feeling. My Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mate Jenson Button presented me with the trophy last year – so maybe it’s a good omen that my lucky charm Jenson is our guest again at Brands Hatch this weekend. The track itself is a lot of fun and yet at the same time can be a real challenge for drivers. Paddock Hill Bend is one of the best turns that you could ever hope to encounter in a racing car – it’s just incredible. The characteristics of the track are very different as compared to the season-opener at Hockenheim, and I wonder how the new option tyres will shape up under these circumstances and how they will affect the course of the race. I was on the front row of the grid each time in the last two races at Brands Hatch, so hopefully, I can build on that success again this year and fight for victory once more.”

Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C‑Coupé):

- finished in the points for first time at Hockenheim season-opener 
- had second fastest pit stop of the race in Hockenheim 

“The season-opener at Hockenheim had its ups and downs as far as I’m concerned: I made a mess of qualifying but followed that with my first points-scoring result in the DTM. I would like to pick up a top position both in qualifying and in the race at Brands Hatch, but it won’t be easy, because at Brands Hatch the gaps between drivers will be even smaller than is normally the case in the DTM. During practice, I will just have to concentrate on setting up my THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé really accurately with the help of the engineers and try to drive as neatly as possible, both in qualifying and over the 98 laps, without making any errors.”

Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- progressed to Q3 at very first DTM qualifying 
- secured eleventh position on DTM debut

“My DTM debut at Hockenheim has just ended and now we’re off to the second race of the season at Brands Hatch. I know the circuit quite well from my time in the Formula 3 Euro Series, where I achieved a podium last year. The track is short and does not forgive mistakes easily. My first laps in the lead in my first DTM race were a great experience; unfortunately, it was not enough in the end to bring me my first points. That was a shame, but perhaps I can make it up at Brands Hatch this weekend. Overtaking is said to be extremely difficult at this track. Let’s see if things will be different this year with the introduction of DRS.”

Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- secured two podiums in the Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands Hatch
- finished his first DTM race at Hockenheim in twelfth place

“I’m satisfied with my DTM debut at Hockenheim. I gained a lot of experience and even led the field for a time. Now I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch, a track that always appealed to me when I was in the Formula 3 Euro Series. The Indy circuit at Brands Hatch may be short but it’s truly awesome. I’ve always been quick at Brands Hatch in the past. I achieved two pole positions there last year in Formula 3. The DTM is, of course, an entirely different class, but maybe Lady Luck will smile on me in my first race in a car with a roof at Brands Hatch.”

Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):

- achieved his best ever grid position at Hockenheim season-opener – fourth position

“After not finishing at the start of the season, I’m itching to get back in my STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé at Brands Hatch to prove that a top-notch result would have been possible in Hockenheim. With P4 on the grid, I’ve shown the kind of speed I can produce. The adrenaline rush of being in the shoot-out for pole position in Q4 for the first time was enormous – I could easily get used to that in the future. Whilst a sketch map of Brands Hatch may look quite simple, it’s a real driver’s circuit that demands the utmost concentration over 98 laps. One single error and the race is as good as lost.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“The first test of the new Sporting and Technical Regulations in the season-opener at Hockenheim gave us all thoroughly exciting and entertaining racing. I am certain that will continue during the coming weekend. Gary Paffett in his home race at Brands Hatch is the focus of interest and would dearly like to repeat last year’s victory. But our ‘young guns’ in the Mercedes-Benz DTM Junior Team made a fabulous impression at the season-opener in Hockenheim, and that is precisely why we are putting our trust in them this season. I envisage that all five of our Mercedes-Juniors will again produce strong performances at Brands Hatch.”

Credits: Daimler AG

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